Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment Program

The Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) program was established effective January 1, 2000 for children whose California Juvenile Court dependency is terminated in favor of guardianship with the relative caregiver.

Effective October 1, 2006, the Kin-GAP program was made available to children whose California Juvenile Court warship under Probation is terminated in favor of guardianship with the relative caregiver.

Effective January 1, 2011 the Kin-GAP program was revised in accordance with the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. Kin-GAP provides both cash and Medi-Cal benefits to eligible children.

Kin-GAP payments are income to the child, not to the caregiver. In addition, Kin-GAP payments are excluded by the Housing Authority in determining a household’s qualification for housing assistance.

Juvenile Court Oversight: When the Juvenile Court dismisses dependency or wardship in favor of kinship guardianship, the social worker or probation officer closes their case and no longer provides services to the child.  There are also no further court hearings.

Kin-GAP guardians in need of services and who reside in Riverside County may call 211or 1 (800) 303-0001 by cell phone, to reach Community Connect for Riverside County. Community Connect is open 24 hrs a day to help caregivers find resources for a variety of issues, including:

  • health care
  • substance abuse
  • employment
  • housing, and
  • youth crisis and intervention.

Guardians may also call the Riverside County Kinship and Youth Warmline at 1-800-303-0001.

Basic Requirements

To be potentially eligible to receive Kin-GAP, all of the following conditions must be met:

  • the child must live in the approved home of a relative for at least six months following placement in the home by Riverside County Children’s Services Division or Riverside County Juvenile Probation Department. The home must be in an approved status at the time the child enters Kin-GAP. If you are due for your annual home assessment, please speak with your social worker prior to signing forms SOC 369/369A.
  • An approved home is a licensed foster home, a home certified by a foster family agency, or a home that is approved as documented by form SOC 815 “Approval of Family Caregiver Home.”
  • the relative must sign forms SOC 369 “Agency-Relative Guardianship Disclosure” and SOC 369A “Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program Agreement Amendment” prior to the Juvenile Court appointing guardianship
  • the relative must be appointed legal guardian of the child by a California Juvenile Court.
  • the Juvenile Court dependency must be dismissed on or after 01/01/2000, or the juvenile court wardship must be dismissed on or after 10/01/2006.

Note: the definition of a relative for Kin-GAP was expanded under AB 1712 effective 01/01/2014 for federally eligible children only to include Non-Relative Extended Family Members (NREFMs), adults who are members of the Indian child’s tribe, or Indian custodians as defined in Section 1903(6) of Title 25 of the United States Code, and adults who are the child’s current foster parents and are identified as the child’s “permanent connection.”  Please contact the child’s social worker if you would like to discuss whether you may be a potentially eligible guardian under this provision.

Other Eligibility Requirements

When the child meets these basic requirements, initial Kin-GAP eligibility is determined based upon the child’s:

  • countable property--must be under $10,000.00
  • countable income--must be less than the Kin-GAP grant

If the child goes to Juvenile Hall and is made a ward of the Juvenile Court, or if the child becomes a Juvenile Court dependent, Kin-GAP benefits will be discontinued. Kin-GAP benefits may be reinstated when all of the following conditions are met:

  • after the Juvenile Court dismisses the child’s wardship/dependency
  • the child is residing in the guardians home
  • the guardianship is still intact, and
  • all other eligibility requirements are met.

Juvenile Probation or Children’s Services Division may apply for AFDC-FC for the child’s out of home placement. Juvenile Probation/Children’s Services is responsible to provide services to the child, and to provide documents to Foster Care Eligibility required to determine initial and ongoing eligibility.

Eligibility after age 18

A Kin-GAP youth who initially entered Kin-GAP prior to his or her 16th birthday may be eligible to continue receiving Kin-GAP up to age 19, if he or she meets the following requirements:

  • will complete high school by age 19, or
  • is expected to receive a GED certificate prior to age 19, or
  • has not graduated from high school and has enrolled in an eligible vocational-technical training program which will not result in a college degree, and the child is expected to complete prior to age 19, and
  • signs form SOC 155B Mutual Agreement for 18-year Olds—this form establishes the youth’s agreement to remain in the Kin-GAP Program after his or her 18th birthday.

A new Kin-GAP youth who initially entered Kin-GAP on or after his or her 16th birthday may be eligible to continue receiving Kin-GAP up to age 21.

Contact the Kin-GAP unit at (951) 358-3894 for additional information regarding requirements for receiving benefits after age 18.

Kin-GAP payments:

  • are delivered on the first day of the benefit month
  • are the responsibility of the county that dismissed the dependency or wardship
  • are the same rate as the Foster Care basic rate of the County or State in which the child resides (Host County)
  • may include a Specialized Care Increment (SCI)
  • includes clothing allowance(s) at the Host County or Host State rate
  • may include an Infant Supplement Payment (ISP), and
  • may be paid using Direct Deposit, at the Kin-GAP guardian’s request.

Independent Living Program (ILP):  ILP provides services and activities to assist foster and Kin-GAP youth in making the transition to independent living. Kin-GAP youth age 16-19 may participate in ILP. Kin-GAP youth who participate in ILP are referred to the aftercare provider currently contracted by Riverside County.